Can CBD heal the brain? Does CBD create brain cells? Is CBD good for memory?

Astonishingly, CBD plays a role in a number of biological processes that are critically important to your brain's health. In fact, CBD has been shown to support brain health in terms of both functional and mental clarity in several interesting and positive ways, including:

  • supporting homeostasis (or balance), a steady state of internal conditions maintained by our bodies for optimal functioning
  • inducing neurogenesis, the process in which neurons are generated from neural stem cells in the nervous system
  • promoting synaptogenesis, the formation of synapses between neurons in the nervous system
  • improving neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to change and adapt to new information (also activity-dependent, e.g. cognitive behavioural therapy)
  • conferring neuroprotection, protecting neurons from injury, degeneration, or death by intervening in and inhibiting the pathogenetic cascade that results in cell dysfunction and eventual death
  • increasing serotonin 5-HT1A receptor expression, which is responsible for CBD's anxiolytic and antidepressant actions

Read on for the science behind CBD's brain benefits.

CBD and the endocannabinoid system.

The body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) is made up of extremely sensitive receptors which act as neurotransmitters. The CB1 and CB2 receptors are found throughout the body’s central nervous system and within the peripheral nervous system. The ECS serves many purposes such as regulating your cognitive processes that govern memory, appetite, immune response, stress, and pain perception.

The Effects of THC and CBD on the ECS.

The cannabis plant is brimming with over 110 cannabinoids that all have the ability to bind by varying degrees to the ECS receptors to create a whole-body experience. THC closely mimics the body’s anandamide and the CB1 receptors which is what results in its famous psychoactive effects. Anandamide is often referred to as the body’s ‘bliss molecule’ and is what can create feelings of euphoria. CBD does not interact in the same way nor does it produce any euphoric or mind-altering effects, but this does not mean that it has no positive impact on the brain’s mental functions.

CBD effects on brain health.

Many people accept a certain degree of age-related cognitive decline as a natural part of growing older. However, factors like stress, diet, and poor sleep lead to a range of dysfunction. Long-term stress and exposure to cortisol can change the way your brain functions over time, noticeably impacting your memory, emotions, and mental health.

However, you can take steps to preserve your brain function and mental well-being. And CBD might just help you you do that.

In a systematic review of 194 studies investigating the acute effects of CBD on brain function during resting state or in the context of cognitive tasks, of which 17 met inclusion criteria, researchers found that:

  • CBD enhanced frontostriatal resting state connectivity, both compared to placebo and THC. Frontostriatal circuits are part of your executive functions, which include: selection and perception of important information, manipulation of information in working memory, planning and organization, behavioural control, adaptation to changes, and decision making. These circuits are involved in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease as well as neuropsychiatric disorders including schizophrenia, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • CBD modulated brain activity, improving emotional processing (fronto-temporal), verbal memory (fronto-striatal), response inhibition (fronto-limbic-striatal), and auditory/visual processing (temporo-occipital).

CBD Stimulates the Creation and Growth of Functional Brain Connectivity Impaired by Stress, Diet, and Poor Sleep

Although the mechanisms underlying the creation and integration of brain networks have yet to be fully understood, considerable evidence suggests that the endocannabinoid system plays a pivotal role throughout the processes of adult neurogenesis, or the production and integration of new neurons in the brain.

Congruently, the stimulation of neurogenesis is one of CBD's studied novel benefits and has been proposed as the basis underlying many of CBD’s medical uses.

A recent study examining the prolonged administration of CBD to regular cannabis users within the community could reverse or reduce the characteristic hippocampal harms associated with chronic THC use. Not only did their findings support a protective role of CBD against brain structural harms, but they also suggest that CBD may be therapeutic for a range of clinical disorders characterized by hippocampal pathology (e.g., schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease, and major depressive disorder).

This is significant for optimal brain performance because the hippocampus plays important roles in learning and memory organization, the consolidation of information from short-term memory to long-term memory, and in spatial memory that enables navigation.

CBD's Neuroprotective Role

Emerging evidence especially suggests that cannabidiol is neuroprotective and may ameliorate brain harm associated with stress, diet, and environmental factors, including protection from hippocampal volume loss.

Its protective brain effects, as well as its endocannabinoid mechanisms, have been related to its ability to support the survival and integration of newborn neurons of the dentate gyrus (DG). This structure is the gateway of what's called the hippocampal formation, and it plays a critical role in memory and learning processes. Crucially, key studies have emerged linking this pro-neurogenic effect with reduced anxiety-like states and improved emotional and motivational processing in animal models of stress-, mood-, and substance use-related disorders.

Albeit convincing, investigations of CBD’s pro-neurogenic effects are still in an early stage, and further experimental efforts are required to answer several open questions.

CBD for Anxiety

Around the world, studies are underway to look at the benefits of CBD for anxiety. One impressive research article found that taking 600mg of CBD per day reduced social anxiety in the study’s participants. Another study looked at the results of using a lower dose of CBD (300 mg) and found that the reduced amount was also just as effective at reducing anxiety.

The Journal of Psychopharmacology published a study that looked at CBD for the treatment of Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD). The participants in the study reported feeling better when they used CBD to relieve anxiety. Researchers performed brain scans and noticed that there were noticeable changes to the blood flow in areas of the brain that are commonly related to anxiety.

As with depression, anxiety has been linked to low levels of serotonin, so CBD’s effect on the CB2 receptors (which control serotonin) appears to impact brain function in a positive and potentially beneficial way.

CBD also interacts with serotonin 5-HT2A receptors, which are responsible for mood and emotional regulation, to bring that sense of calming energy and relieve anxiety. 5-HT2A receptors are the same receptors targeted by conventional anti-depressants, hence the growing interest in CBD as a novel treatment for not only anxiety, but also depression.

How to use CBD to improve your brain health.

Good things take time.

We would recommend a daily regimen consisting of 50mg–100mg CBD in the morning, and 50mg–100mg CBD before sleep.

Expect to see improved mood, clarity, and focus within 2 weeks, and improvements in overall brain functions after 1 month. Of course, your body is unique and may respond differently to plant-sourced technologies, so you may need a little more time and patience to see results.

We typically recommend tinctures (oil drops), such as Full Spec. CBD and CBD Isolate as they are the most bioavailable, consistent, and cost-effective method of consumption. If you have a sweet tooth, you might want to complement your personal care regimen with our CBD Gummy Bears, a scrumptious alternative to getting your daily dose of full-spectrum CBD.

You might also be interested in trying Brain Stack, a nootropic adaptogenic microdose blend. Organic, vegan, and additive-free. Take 1–4 capsules for 4 days followed by a 3 day break for optimal results.

Final remarks.

At My Supply Co., we offer CBD and mushroom-inspired personal care products derived from the highest-quality ingredients. We believe that balance comes from the inside out and that your brain’s health—both functional and emotional—may benefit from CBD. Our full spectrum products deliver the intelligent synergy of cannabinoids, terpenes, polyphenols to help you achieve optimal health and happiness. After all, happy feels good.

Contact us to learn more about our CBD products.

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